asked the Secretary of State for Industry what information he has to the numbers of small and medium-sized firms which have reduced their research and development expenditure in the last 12 months.
The Department of Industry has no precise details of the changes of research and development expenditure in industry in the last 12 months. Comprehensive surveys of industrial research and development are undertaken only every three years. Results from the 1978 survey are available but there can be no 1978–81 comparisons until analysis of the 1981 returns is complete. Enterprises employing fewer than 200 people are not required to provide returns so that no information on changes in research and development expenditure for these firms can be given.